The Rookery Cornice

Firm News and Recent Decisions

10 TDR Attorneys Recognized as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

January 22, 2016

Once again, SuperLawyers® Magazine has recognized nearly three-fourths of TDR partners for their high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Congratulations to:

•Karina Zabicki DeHayes
•Gino L. DiVito
•Mark H. Horwitch
•Timothy A. Hudson
•Christopher D. Liguori *
•Michael I Rothstein
•Caesar A. Tabet

Rising Stars
•John M. Fitzgerald *
•Brian C. Haussmann
•Daniel I. Konieczny

* - First time honoree in this category

The list of Illinois SuperLawyers includes no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state.  Rising Star is a distinction reserved for the top 2.5% of Illinois lawyers who are under 40 or in practice for 10 years or fewer.


Edit:  TDR Partner Meredith Martin "Mimi" Addy, who joined the firm in May, 2016, was also named an Illinois SuperLawyer.  In addition, Ms. Addy was named in three Illinois Super Lawyers Top Lists: “Top 10: 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers,” “Top 50: 2016 Women Illinois Super Lawyers,” and “Top 100: 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers.”

Michael Rothstein Reappointed to Rules Committee

November 20, 2015

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Michael Rothstein to a second three-year term on the Supreme Court Rules Committee.  The Rules Committee develops and reviews proposals regarding Illinois court rules and rules governing attorney professional responsibility.  Mr. Rothstein has served on the Rules Committee since January 1, 2013.  His new term runs through December 31, 2018.

Abt and Fitzgerald Co-Author CDLB Column

Administrative Remedies Must Be Exhausted Before Filing Claim

October 22, 2015

TDR attorneys Uri B. Abt and John Fitzgerald co-authored a column in the October 21st (subscription may be required) edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.  The column, “Federal Act Should Have Put End to Claim Quickly,” examined a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision on a matter of first impression under Illinois law – namely, whether failure to comply with a claim “bar date” under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) deprived a court of jurisdiction to consider a challenge to an arbitrator’s decision on a claim against a failed bank.  The Appellate Court held that, under FIRREA, failure to submit a claim against a failed bank to the FDIC before the “bar date” established by FDIC prevents any court from having jurisdiction to hear not just the claim, but any motion regarding an arbitrator’s decision about the claim.  The court went on to hold that the court lacked jurisdiction even if the claim against the failed bank was asserted against a successor-in-interest.  

John Fitzgerald Named as One of 40 Illinois Attorneys under Forty to Watch

Supplement to Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer

October 6, 2015

TDR partner John Fitzgerald was named as one of the top 40 lawyers under forty years of age in Illinois.  Clients and professional colleagues nominated Mr. Fitzgerald for the honor.  More than 1,200 lawyers were nominated for the award.  Mr. Fitzgerald was recognized for, among other things, his work in representing members of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System in the state’s contentious pension reform litigation.

The article quotes Grace Liu, an attorney with the University of California, as saying, “John has all the skills that make a top litigator.  He spots nuanced issues.  He frames those issues in understandable and personal terms.  He is a highly effective writer.  He argues concisely and persuasively in court.”

Other attorneys call John “unstinting and unselfish” and note that “his legal acumen and abilities, the manner in which he navigates complex legal  issues and situations, and the maturity with which he carries himself all suggest experience beyond his years.”

Fitzgerald Quoted in News Article on Illinois Supreme Court’s Upcoming Term

September 9, 2015

TDR Partner John Fitzgerald was interviewed by reporter Andrew Maloney of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin for its article on September 8th (subscription required) about the Illinois Supreme Court’s upcoming term.  Fitzgerald, whose practice is focused primarily on appeals and commercial litigation, commented on the implications of the Illinois Supreme Court’s eventual ruling in Price v. Philip Morris, case no. 117687.

Fitzgerald and other TDR attorneys are noted appellate practitioners.  The firm’s appellate practice is headed by Gino DiVito.

TDR Wins Motion To Dismiss For Corporate Client

May 29, 2015

On May 28, 2015, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Thomas R. Mulroy granted a motion to dismiss that TDR filed on behalf of a Michigan-based signage company.

The motion was based on a broad forum selection clause contained in a license agreement between the parties.  This clause mandated Michigan courts as the exclusive jurisdiction for a dispute between the parties. 

The plaintiffs filed a one-count claim under the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  TDR successfully argued that the parties’ agreement was broad enough to encompass all claims between the parties, including the plaintiffs’ statutory claim.
TDR Partner Karina DeHayes and Associate Uri Abt represented the Firm’s client in these proceedings.

Illinois Supreme Court Sides With TDR

Unanimous Opinion Strikes Down Pension Law

May 8, 2015

In a unanimous opinion, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that a 2013 pension reform law is unconstitutional.  TDR represented a group of retired teachers in successfully challenging the law.

TDR Founding Member Gino DiVito, who argued the case before the Court, said, “We are delighted that today’s Supreme Court opinion recognizes and ensures the pension rights of State employees, as required by our Constitution.  We trust that the General Assembly will address the State’s fiscal difficulties, in a manner consistent with the constitution, and in a way that is fair to all the citizens of Illinois.”

TDR Partner John Fitzgerald also assisted in this matter.

TDR Partner Gino DiVito Argues Pension Case Before Illinois Supreme Court

"Pension Legislation is Unconstitutional"

March 13, 2015

On March 11, 2015, TDR Founding Partner Gino DiVito argued before the Illinois Supreme Court in Heaton v. Quinn, a landmark case in which the Court will decide whether pension reduction legislation enacted in 2013 is unconstitutional.  TDR, representing retired teachers and both active and retired school administrators in the pension litigation, argued that the 2013 law that cuts pension benefits violates the State’s constitution.

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin summarized DiVito’s arguments as “the pension clause is so clear and unambiguous that all the constitutional convention voter’s guide had to say was that it was ‘new and self-explanatory.’  Drafters of the constitution wanted to not only create a legally enforceable contractual relationship for every public employee who receives a pension but also to ensure that the pension rights were guaranteed, which created the very language at issue”.

Further, according to the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald, DiVito stated, "This is a case about a constitutional provision, one that is explicit, clear and unambiguous, and it is subject to no stated exception.  The state has not cited a single case where the reserve sovereign powers, the police powers, have been held to override a constitutional provision, and that's because there is no such case."

DiVito, a retired justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, has been a noted authority on the Pension Protection Clause (Article XIII, section 5) of the Illinois Constitution for years, and he often argues cases of great significance before the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court.  For more information about TDR’s appellate practice, please click here.

12 TDR Attorneys Recognized as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

Karina DeHayes and Mark Horwitch Receive Special Recognition

January 14, 2015

SuperLawyers® Magazine has recognized nearly three-fourths of TDR partners and one associate for their high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

In addition,  Karina DeHayes was named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers and Mark Horwitch was named one of the Top 100 Illinois Lawyers.

Congratulations to:


  • Karina Zabicki DeHayes
  • Gino L. DiVito
  • Mark H. Horwitch
  • Timothy A. Hudson *
  • Jeffrey Patton
  • Michael I Rothstein
  • Caesar A. Tabet

Rising Stars

  • John J. Barber
  • Michael J. Grant
  • Brian C. Haussmann
  • Daniel I. Konieczny
  • Brent Ryan (A) *

(A) - Associate

* - First time honoree in this category

The list of Illinois SuperLawyers includes no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state.  Rising Star is a distinction reserved for the top 2.5% of Illinois lawyers who are under 40 or in practice for 10 years or fewer.

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